In this month’s cover story, “Greening America’s Pastime”, Marsden Holding CEO Guy Mingo says that part of the ambition to land Target Field as an account was to create a stadium cleaning division as a way to generate new revenue streams because of the recession.

And he’s not alone. Many BSCs are setting their sights on new markets, the biggest of which is K-12 schools. According to a Contracting Profits survey, 42 percent of BSCs are targeting educational facilities for growth.

As utility and health care costs rise, schools are no longer able to afford the high salaries and benefits packages of in-house custodial staffs. Anything in the budget not related to higher learning is considered for

More than 40 percent of
BSCs are setting their
sights on K-12 schools

outsourcing, including cleaning. In June, Indiana’s second largest school district, Fort Wayne Community Schools, outsourced its cleaning operations to Sodexo at a savings of $4.4 million. Michigan continues to be an outsourcing leader: 20.1 percent of school districts outsource cleaning, according to a 2009 study. This number may not jump off the page to some, but consider that in 2003, only 6.6 percent of Michigan school districts were outsourcing their cleaning services.

Breaking into the educational sector is not easy. School boards and parents are concerned when it comes to people working around children and BSCs stereotypically have high turnover rates, meaning it could be a different “stranger” in the building each shift. However, because of the recession, our studies show that BSC turnover is actually significantly lower than past averages. With the poor economy, workers are staying put. BSCs can leverage this point and tell school boards that not only can they clean the facility for less money, but the same janitor will be in the school day after day.

Of course, school boards are concerned with more than just staffing. They want efficient, yet low-cost cleaning services. BSCs should lean on their distributors to find the most effective products and streamlined processes. After all, distributors are looking for new revenue, too. When schools outsource, the supplier also typically changes. BSCs that land new accounts present an opportunity for growth for them as well.